Report: Google Fiber to challenge AT&T and Time Warner Cable in Austin

Updated: Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is planning to expand its "Fiber" project to Austin, Texas, according to a report in VentureBeat. Google and the city of Austin are planning to make an announcement on April 9 that "will have a positive impact on Austinites and the future of the city"--a VentureBeat report said the announcement involves Google bringing its Internet service to the city.

AT&T (NYSE: T) has a big presence in Austin with U-verse and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) also operates in the city as well, according to the FCC's broadband map.

Google Fiber launched in Kansas City last year, offering residents 1 Gbps Internet connections for $70 per month (Google is currently waiving the $300 installation fee). Google also offers Internet and TV service for $120 a month and "free" Internet service (after a $300 installation fee) that provides speeds of around 5 Mbps.

With the Kansas City offering, Google is taking on established incumbent cable operators Time Warner Cable and AT&T (NYSE: T) in the area, which have their own triple-play service offerings over existing HFC and hybrid copper/fiber last-mile networks.

Moreover, it appears that Google Fiber is a hit with residents in Kansas City. According to a new survey from Ideas & Solutions! Inc., 60 percent of the qualified population in Kansas City is interested in using the service.

That Google is reportedly expanding its Fiber project beyond Kansas City is not really a surprise. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt late last year said the company does not see the Google Fiber network in Kansas City as an experiment but the seed of a much larger opportunity they could replicate in other markets. "It's actually not an experiment; we're actually running it as a business," he said, noting that it has enticed a number of new startups with high bandwidth needs to locate their offices where the fiber has been installed with plans to bring it "hopefully more cities."

For more:
- see this VentureBeat article

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Updated: We mistakenly reported that Comcast and Verizon offers DOCSIS and FiOS services in Austin.